Even though the grape hyacinth, daffodils, and camellias are in full-out flower here, the temperatures tanked this week into the low 40's and it's been raining for days. Spring is trying hard, but Winter's still got us in her nasty grip. This is a perfect weekend for my favorite lo-cal, flavorful and filling soup:
Kale and White Bean Soup
1 pound kale, washed, stems and hard center veins removed
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 T olive oil
4 C water
2 C chicken or vegetable stock
2 14.5 oz cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
tobasco sauce (optional)
Cut the kale into 1 inch strips. In large saucepan, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook until the onions are softened (about 5 min). Add 1 can of the beans and lightly mash them with a fork. Add the water and stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and remaining can of beans. Salt and pepper to taste, partially cover and simmer until the kale is tender, about 20 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Adding a few drops of tobasco sauce gives the soup a nice zing on a cold day.
You can have fun with this recipe. For example, after we ravaged the Christmas ham, I added the bone to a batch of this soup I was cooking up.
I usually double the batch and freeze it in individual servings. The soup freezes exceptionally well.